Klang, DJ Jason Stein | Hideout | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Klang, DJ Jason Stein Recommended Soundboard

When: Wed., May 25, 7 p.m. 2011

When the Chicago Jazz Festival asked James Falzone to pay homage to Benny Goodman in 2009, the centennial of his birth, the local clarinetist wasn't known as a practitioner of the buoyant swing that Goodman turned into some of the most popular music in 1930s America. Falzone is always game for a challenge, though—he'd already interpreted Messiaen as well as traditional French and Arabic music—and he created relatively faithful arrangements of Goodman classics for his quartet Klang (vibist Jason Adasiewicz, bassist Jason Roebke, and drummer Tim Daisy), even bringing in guitarist Dave Miller to play the part of Charlie Christian. But when he finally got around to recording the project for the superb new Other Doors (Allos Documents), he transformed that swing-era music into something much more personal and contemporary. On "Memories of You" he elongates the melody almost unrecognizably over a funereal tempo, and on "Rose Room" he updates Goodman's intimate small-group aesthetic, particularly in his beautiful pinpoint interactions with Adasiewicz. In the album's liner notes, he writes that one thing he likes about those small-group records is that "personality is as important as notes," and the members of Klang demonstrate similar priorities, especially on Falzone's new compositions for the project. (He wrote almost half the tunes on the album.) Various combinations of four guest players—cornetist Josh Berman, trombonist Jeb Bishop, reedist Keefe Jackson, and cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm—flesh out some of the arrangements, and a similar eight-piece lineup will perform at this release party. Nick Broste will sub for Bishop and Nate McBride will sub for Roebke, who's on tour. —Peter Margasak

Price: $7

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